- A Gambian journalist has been fined to pay over US $12,000 or face a four-year jail sentence with hard labour.
Fatou Jaw Manneh, who is based in the United States, was the second journalist after Lamin Fatty, a reporter with the banned 'Independent' newspaper, to be convicted on sedition under the Criminal Amendment Code.
A court in Kanifing, 10 km from the capital Banjul, found Ms Manneh guilty of three counts of "publishing seditious words and for spreading false information," contrary to criminal laws of the country.
Before she was put on trial, Fatou was arrested by plaincloth officers at the Banjul International Airport shortly after she returned from the US on 29 March 2007.
The trial magistrate, Buba Jawo, convicted Ms Manneh on her comments posted on allgambian.net that President Yahya Jammeh is "a bundle of terror who is tearing The Gambia in shreds and maltreating people who speak out against him." She described Gambian leader as a "bundle of terror."
The laughing magistrate said the journalist's comments which were neither factual nor justifiable were deliberate and calculated attempts to incite people to hate the President. He said it was wrong for the accused to be in the US and say anything she likes.
Magistrate Jawo ordered the convicted journalist to pay the collosal fine or risked going to jail immediately.
The local press union and family members raised the money to prevent Ms Manneh from going to jail.
Paris media rights watchdog has condemned arguing that it was not the outcome of due process, but the result of the President's personal desire for revenge.
"It highlights the authoritarian nature of a ruler who despises the press and uses the police and judicial system for his personal ends. We are relieved that Manneh was able to raise the money for the fine and thereby avoid imprisonment, and we reiterate our solidarity with Gambia's journalists," said Reporters sans frontières.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.